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City Council to Consider the Issue at its Second Meeting in February
Bulletin Staff Writer
The Compton City
Council has continued its discussion about the pending decision of the
Los Angeles County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) to take
away some of the city’s Sphere of Influence, pending a decision
The council voted on December 6 to challenge a Draft Municipal Service
Review (MSR) prepared by LAFCO. The report recommends moving Rancho Dominguez
from Compton’s Sphere of Influence (SOI) and place it in the city
of Carson’s SOI.
LAFCOs are agencies established in 2000 to discourage urban sprawl
and remove isolated unincorporated areas from county jurisdiction. The
agencies are responsible for coordinating changes in local governmental
boundaries, including annexations and detachments of territory and incorporations
LAFCO was to make a decision on the city’s challenge during the last
few weeks. To date, it has still not made that decision.
“We have scheduled a meeting with Carson and Long Beach about the
matter,” said City Manager Barbara Kilroy. “We want to try
to come to an agreement between the three cities. If we can do that,
it would be very surprising if LAFCO didn’t concur with the agreement.”
LAFCO is open to conflict of interest charges stemming from the fact
that Jim Deer, the mayor of Carson, has a brother on the LAFCO board.
Each city in LAFCO’s jurisdiction has been assigned a Sphere of Interest
that includes adjacent unincorporated areas as well as unincorporated areas
located entirely within the city’s boundaries. Compton’s SOI
includes Willowbrook and Rosewood, which are shared with the city of Los
Angeles, and Rancho Dominguez, which is surrounded by Compton.
The territories in question are West Compton and Rancho Dominguez.
West Compton is a 588-acre area bounded by Rosecrans on the north, the
city’s eastern boundary, Figueroa Street on the west and Alondra
Boulevard. The area is 70 percent residential and 30 percent commercial.
LAFCO wants to remove this area from Compton’s SOI, except for the
unincorporated island on the northeast corner of Central and Rosecrans
Rancho Dominguez (“Dominguez Hills”) is a 400-acre area just
south of Compton’s southern border. It is 90 percent industrial and
10 percent residential.
Stated reasons for the recommendation include the city’s “relatively
low general fund revenue.” The removal of Dominguez Hills would leave
Compton with an area that is 85 percent residential. Industrial and commercial
land produces more revenue than residential.
Other stated reasons for the LAFCO recommendations include the fact
that “... the SOI area is not included in the city’s General
Plan and the city has not attempted to annex the territory since the SOI
was adopted in 1973.”
“That is completely inaccurate,” said Kilroy. “The SOI
was included in the city’s original General Plan, adopted in 1969,
and retained in all of its subsequent amendments.”
Kilroy said the city is updating the General Plan to include the
entire SOI as potential areas of annexation. The report also states that
the city of Compton has not tried to annex the territory since the SOI
was adopted in 1973.
“In fact, we have attempted to annex several areas that were eventually
denied,” said Kilroy. “The Willowbrook annexation was denied
by LAFCO. The Rosewood area was denied due to property owner protests.
The East Rancho Dominguez area was denied because of business and
property owner opposition.”
LAFCO’s recommendation would result in the remaining SOI being comprised
of mainly residential development, leaving the city little revenue-producing
area for annexation.
“This would, more than likely, exacerbate the city’s difficulty
in generating more per capita General Fund revenue,” said Kilroy.
City officials also believe Compton’s economic outlook as described
in the LAFCO report was misrepresented. The report stated that the city’s
General Fund revenue is “relatively low.”
“The General Fund revenue is modest,” said Kilroy. “But
it is comparable to other cities that were not recommended to modify their
Compton’s General Fund Revenue is $37,761,432, approximately $403
If a compromise can be worked out between the three cities, Compton’s
SOI changes will be less drastic than those proposed by LAFCO. Any annexation
attempts by the city will be made in the future.
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